Thanks to Moms Meet for reminding me that Choices Matter when it comes to pain management. It reminds me that it is important to help others see the safety and benefits of non-opioid, pain-relieving options for C-sections.
My youngest daughter just turned 3 this weekend and it made me realize how quickly time passes. My oldest daughter, who is 6, asked me to share all my pregnancy stories for each daughter which took me down memory lane. Looking back, I would not do too much differently. In fact, now that I know what steps I took to handle childbirth, I feel like I need to share my experiences more so that more women are encouraged.
How could women be encouraged? At one point, I wanted to have my girls at home, but knowing that I was nervous being a first time mom, I decided to have a midwife. The support I received and encouragement to read and educate myself on the type of birth I wanted was empowering. Of course there is always the matter when childbirth does not come out the way you expected.
I never really thought that I had a high tolerance for pain, BUT, I decided I wanted to make the choice to experience childbirth without an epidural and without any pain management in case I had an emergency C-section. I made a birth plan and I talked to my husband about all my plans especially since he was going to be in the same room with me.
After having 3 babies, I can thankfully say that while all of them were very different, I did not receive any pain medication or management during, before, or after childbirth. Well, you might be shrugging your shoulders at the fact that since I did not have a C-section I might not really know what PAIN might be, but let me share with you my friend’s experience.
My friend had her daughter almost 3 years ago, and while she planned on having her naturally, she ended up having a C-section. Knowing she was going to have a C-section, she knew first that she had a high pain tolerance. She really did not think she needed more than the high dose NSAIDS. She was hesitant about side effects as well, namely constipation and drowsiness. A the end of her experience, she only decided on using NSAIDS, with no regrets.
Choices Matter in Childbirth
I was made aware of Plan Against Pain, a resource that gave me so much information about how, as women, we need to know more about pain. Knowing about our pain tolerance makes a difference in preparing before, during and after pregnancy. Not only that, but having an educated discussion with a physician on how to prepare and what options are available can help with managing pain.
Did you know that women are prescribed nearly TWICE as many prescription opioids as men after surgery??
There have been discoveries based on a new research that proves women become more persistent opioid users following surgery! Wow.
Here are a few more statistics:
- More than 1 in 3 women had C-section deliveries; overall, 1 in 5 C-sections were unplanned
- More than 1 in 3 (36%) women did not have a birth plan, which is an opportune time for a patient to speak with their doctor about pain management options, including non-opioids
- 38% of women are open to pain management options, but think some kinds of pain medications are or could be harmful to them or their baby
Opioids and childbirth:
- 19% believe they are fine for other procedures, but not childbirth
- 25% believe they will be able to handle the pain without opioids
- 21% have no issue taking opioids
- 35% prefer to let their doctors decide what is best
- Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) of mothers have concerns about taking opioids during and after childbirth. Despite these concerns, more than half (51%) of C-section patients are prescribed an opioid
Plan Against Pain is such a great resource and really educates every female dealing with any upcoming surgery. Thankfully I did not need opioids or even consider it when I had my hysterectomy but this website gives insight on what to ask your physician, as well as how to find the right medical help.
This was a shock to me from the website:
And, despite increased efforts to reduce opioid use for treating pain after surgery, overprescribing of postsurgical opioids resulted in 3.3 billion unused pills flooding into communities, making these drugs available for diversion and misuse.
With effective non-opioid options available, we can help control pain without the need for these harmful medications. In fact, a 10 percent reduction in opioid prescribing could result in 300,000 fewer people becoming at risk for opioid dependence or addiction.
I just took the pledge to join the movement against opioid prescribing. Join me in spreading the message of #onelesspill.